Softball players need more overall, whole body strength. But, specifically building a strong upper body should be a focus for every player, as it can make a huge difference in not only on-field performance, but confidence as well. In this article, you’ll learn some exercises to implement in workouts for softball players.
Workouts For Softball: Upper Body Edition
Softball players need strong upper bodies to swing, throw and sprint at their fastest. But, building that strength can be difficult. Though we certainly don’t want to neglect the lower-half, which is also critical for performance, this article will cover some of the best upper body exercises for softball players.
Note: This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy a product from a link on this page, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me continue to produce great free content for the softball community, so thank you in advance.
Softball Strength Exercise #1: The Incline Push Up
If a player can’t do PERFECT pushups on the ground, it’s best to start this way–with hands on a barbell in a power rack, on a stable table or other surface. For most softball players, they begin with their hands placed at about their waist-line. Then, we slowly progress down toward the ground from there until perfect push ups can be performed there.
If you’re fuzzy on what a perfect push up looks like, check out this video below.
Required Equipment: None!
If you have a place to put your hands, you’re good to go!
Softball Strength Exercise #2: The Band Pull-Apart Circuit
I’m going to include one video, but check out this complete article of mine that shows in-depth the circuit of shoulder exercises that I used with my teams. It’s an easy and effective group of exercises.
Recommended Equipment: Theraband or Looped Bands
It’s up to you what type of bands you use, but I highly recommend either of the two variations below.
Theraband CLX bands
These are small, handheld and pretty durable. Typically, they’ll last one season if cared for.
Go here to buy or learn more about the Theraband CLX. Cost is about $6-$11 per player depending whether you buy pre-cut or whole rolls of the bands.
41″ Looped Latex Bands
For the most durable option, these 1/4″ looped latex bands are awesome.
Go here to buy or learn more about them. They’re about $10 each but are basically bulletproof.
Softball Strength Exercise #3: Sandbag Exercises
Sandbags are great because they’re versatile. You can carry them over the shoulder and do a million lower-body focused exercises with them. But, because they’re still held in the arms or slung over the shoulders, they still build great core and upper body strength.
In the video below you’ll find a little pricier sandbag variety, but there are more cost-effective versions below.
Recommended Equipment: Sandbags
Go here to check out fitness sandbag options on Amazon. The one below is highly rated and not overly expensive.
These often use filler bags of smaller weights, so the actual sand is in the fillers. That way, you could make stations with different weights for different exercises and athletes. But, you can also find nylon sandbags on other websites that can work just by themselves.
Softball Strength Exercise #4: Farmer’s Carries with Fat Grips & Buckets
Farmers carries build grip strength, which is critical for swinging and throwing. Fat Grips can be slipped over any dumbbell for added grip demand and can make any exercise more challenging.
Yes, the 2″ grips shown are pretty thick, but most players can make it work. There are many variation of fat grips (made of rubber), so you can find thinner ones if need be.
Recommended Equipment: Silicon Fat Grips & Buckets or Dumbbells
Go here to grab a set of fat grips for your team.
Strength Exercise #5: Inverted Row
The inverted row is a great exercise that is very versatile. It requires some equipment (shown below) but you can set them up anywhere you have some sort of overhead bar or attachment point.
And, these are very important because the back is an incredibly important muscle group that is not easily trained with just body weight. We can do push ups for the front of our upper body, but there isn’t a good equivalent for rowing without a barbell, dumbbell, suspension trainer (shown) or cable machine to add resistance.
Recommended Equipment: The Human Trainer
This inverted row training device, called the human trainer, is durable and inexpensive compared to the TRX and other versions. It’s literally called “the human trainer.” Not the best name, but it’s a good product.
Summary of Exercises
In this article we covered the following:
- Push ups of varying resistance
- Sandbag exercises for the whole body
- Band exercises for the back and shoulders
- Fat Grip Farmers Carries for the upper body and forearms
- Inverted rows for the back
Use these exercises as their own stations and get creative!
If you enjoyed this article, sign up for my newsletter.
2000+ parents, coaches and players received my email newsletter with new article and video updates. You should too.